Some animals are cute, like adorable bunnies with floppy ears, or puppies with little squishable faces.
Other animals are, well, they’re funny-looking. If you’re being mean, you might call them downright UGLY.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of ‘Ugly’ Animals by Sami Bayly is great because it celebrates the world’s weirder-looking animals. It features brilliant illustrations of all its creatures and I must admit, there were a few pages where I just burst out laughing seeing them. Just take a look at the Blobfish! Or the Hairless Chinese Crested Dog!
But it’s also got lots of interesting information on each animal, including its conservation status, diet and habitat. An outline of each animal is shown next to a human, so you can easily understand how big it is. I find this really helpful. And at the bottom of each page are fun facts about the animal: a wild turkey’s gobble can be heard from 1.5km away, who knew?!
My favourite page of this book is on the Tardigrade, also known as water bears. These miniscule creatures look like aliens, with little stumpy legs and a weird snout. Tardigrade’s are so resilient they can even survive in space!
This book is honestly brilliant, I just love the way it makes stars out of some really weird animals.
It is an exceptional book. Sami Bayly is an incredible artist and she brings the creatures to life in a way that I don’t think would work with an actual photo. The text is entertaining and informative. This book would appeal to kids and adults alike.
A real winner.